Alaska DOT&PF Recognizes Motorcycle and Motor Scooter Awareness Month
(JUNEAU, Alaska) — Alaska Statute 44.12.118 designates the month of May as Motorcycle and Motor Scooter Awareness month. During this time – and during the rest of the year - motorists and other road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Changing the driving habits of motorists and motorcyclists alike will help decrease the numbers of motorcyclist killed and injured in crashes. Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure that they are visible to motorists, and that they follow the rules of the road. All road users are reminded to never drive, ride, walk or bicycle while distracted.
“As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads,” said Joyce Vick of the Alaska Highway Safety Office. “And with that in mind, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers of all vehicles, including SUVs, passenger cars and trucks, need to be extra attentive and make sure they ‘share the road.’ A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a car or truck’s blind spot. Every driver needs to aggressively look for them before changing lanes or merging with traffic.”
Motorists and bicyclists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic, and at intersections. Pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.
“Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too,” said Vick. “They should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear protective gear.”
Vick said that a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that per vehicle mile traveled; motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.
The Alaska Highway Safety Office offers tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways.
To increase safety, motorcyclists should:
The message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: Help share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, by safely “sharing the road.”
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 34 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of DOT&PF is to “Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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